STEM-BASED ENGINEERING PROGRAM FOR LOCAL STUDENTS CULMINATES WITH COMPETITION THIS APRIL
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 25, 2014
George Hazimanolis, WQED
STEM-BASED ENGINEERING PROGRAM FOR LOCAL STUDENTS
CULMINATES WITH COMPETITION THIS APRIL
PITTSBURGH—This year, the spring session of Design Lives Here includes two returning schools from the fall session, and one new school with 209 students in grades 6-8.
Over the last four years WQED has engaged several hundred middle school students through its Design Lives Here program aimed at encouraging area kids to learn more about and consider a profession in engineering. Participating educators and students utilize activities and content from Design Squad Nation episodes and interactive resources, with support from local engineers, to learn about the engineering design process and complete a number of engineering challenges throughout the spring semester. Traditionally held from January through April, Fall 2013 marked the first time that Design Lives Here expanded to include two sessions for the program – Fall and Spring. Made possible by MSA Safety Incorporated (MSA) and LANXESS, Design Lives Here is presented by WQED in partnership with the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania (ESWP) and Inventionland.
The spring session participants will convene on Friday, April 4 for “Invention Convention,” a day-long competition event that includes three hands-on engineering challenge activities and the opportunity to speak with the engineering mentors and staff. Students will be grouped into teams across schools and given challenges such as Zip Line where they are challenged to design and build something that can carry a Ping-Pong ball from the top of a zip line string to the bottom in four seconds or less using a limited supply of materials. The challenge activities are supported by local engineering mentors, giving students and teachers the opportunity to interact with professional engineers throughout the day. In addition to the on-site engineering challenges, students complete one final challenge – the Invention Challenge. Prior to attending Invention Convention, students will identify a problem in one of seven invention categories (kitchen, outdoor, pets, sports, toys (non-electronic), vehicle design and transportation, wearables and sewing), invent a solution to that problem, and illustrate or build a paper prototype model of their invention. Students will then have the opportunity to “pitch” their products to the professional inventors at Inventionland and receive feedback and coaching on their designs.
Participating schools include:
• Franklin Regional Middle School
• Haine Middle School, Seneca Valley School District
• Independence Middle School, Bethel Park School District
Design Lives Here is a student outreach program based on the PBS show Design Squad Nation, a reality-style program created to “inspire the next generation of engineers.” The show features teens engaged in challenges all over the United States and globe, vying for scholarships by designing devices to understand the complex – and compelling – world of engineering.
NOTE TO WORKING PRESS:
Photo opportunities are available on Friday, April 4, 2014 from 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Inventionland located at RIDC Park, 585 Alpha Drive, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15238. A copy of the day’s agenda is available by request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that you will have to sign a waiver to enter the building.
If you are planning to come on April 4, please contact the following for access into the building:
• Maria Pisano, WQED
WQED changes lives by creating and sharing outstanding public media that educates, entertains, and inspires. It is the parent company of WQED-TV (PBS); WQED: The Neighborhood Channel; WQED: The Create Channel; WQED Showcase; Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; the Pittsburgh Concert Channel at WQED-HD2 (89.3-2FM) and online at www.wqed.org/fm; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive (www.wqed.org) and iQ: smartmedia, WQED’s Educational initiative (www.wqed.org/edu).
About The Engineer’s Society of Western Pennsylvania (ESWP)
The Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania (ESWP) has provided a forum for the professional development and social interaction of its members for more than a century. Headquartered in an historic landmark building and club facility, the ESWP is chartered to advance the professions of engineering, architecture and applied sciences through technical activities, public services participation and social organizations. It also supports the needs of industries, communities and government in Western Pennsylvania. The ESWP is a non-profit organization with more than 850 members representing more than 400 local, national and global firms. Learn more about ESWP and our other STEM initiatives at www.eswp.com.
About MSA Safety Incorporated (MSA)
Established in 1914, MSA Safety Incorporated is the global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures. Many MSA products integrate a combination of electronics, mechanical systems and advanced materials to protect users against hazardous or life-threatening situations. The company's comprehensive line of products is used by workers around the world in a broad range of industries, including the fire service, the oil, gas and petrochemical industry, construction, mining and utilities, as well as the military. Principal products include self-contained breathing apparatus, fixed gas and flame detection systems, handheld gas detection instruments, head protection products, fall protection devices and thermal imaging cameras. The company also provides a broad range of consumer and contractor safety products through a joint venture with MCR Safety. These products are marketed and sold under the Safety Works® brand. MSA, based north of Pittsburgh in Cranberry Township, Pa., has annual sales of approximately $1.2 billion, manufacturing operations in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America, and 42 international locations. Additional information is available on the company’s Web site at www.MSAsafety.com. Information on Safety Works products can be found at www.SafetyWorks.com.
LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 8.3 billion in 2013 and roughly 17,300 employees in 31 countries. The company is currently represented at 52 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals. LANXESS is a member of the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World and FTSE4Good as well as the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI).
Inventionland - Created by George Davison, CEO and Founder of Davison, Inventionland is the largest invention factory in America. The 75,000 square-foot invention destination houses 16-themed work spaces that inspire creativity and help make dreams come true. It is the only full-service invention facility where both individuals and corporations can develop a product idea from start to finish, all under one roof. Inventionland services include product and packaging design, research & development to create the more than 1,700 new product prototypes it turns out a year www.inventionland.com.
About Design Squad Nation
Design Squad Nation is a 10-part series of TV shows and video blogs that build on the success of the award-winning PBS reality competition series Design Squad to get kids excited about engineering. Design Squad Nation is high-energy, high-drama reality TV led by Judy and Adam, two professional engineers who work with kids around the world to make their wishes come true through engineering. From creating a park for skaters at the White Mountain Apache Reservation in Arizona to building a playground in a rural village in Nicaragua's northern mountains, the goal of Design Squad Nation is to inspire viewers to take on their own hands-on engineering activities.
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